As I crawl back to some form of normal creative pacing after the last few weeks, I got annoyed with how I spent some time. When I found myself too tired to write, I’d do some graphic experiments with photoshop. Was this a waste of time when I could write? Why did I do it.
Then it struck me, it wasn’t a waste of time at all.
The creativity for my projects was dampened by being overloaded, but my graphics experiments were expressions of creativity that wasn’t snuffed out. It wasn’t as demanding, but it was a sign that my creativity was still there and active – it was just playing more than working.
It was a flame that kept itself going, if not as bright as I wanted. There was the chance it would blaze forth yet again (and it has been, slowly).
I realized that when you’re a creative under stress, any creative output of any kind is probably good. It keeps the flame of creativity going – and reminds you it’s there. There’s still part of you being you.
It’s easy to write off things like writing silly stories or making goofy modifications to family photos, but those are creative acts. They’re just play, and when you’re tired play can both energize you and bring yu back to yourself.
As a creative, give yourself time to mess around – there are days it will be all you can do. But it keeps enough of you going so you can create what you want to, eventually.